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Next Iron Chef Episode 4

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Other than the duplication of Top chef (I'm just going to give it to them that it was in production the same time and they didn't know), not a bad episode. Nice that it was 3 courses. Sorry because I know many of you love them and I do believe that he's an awesome chef but Besh really is awfully arrogant!

Anyway, go Michael! :) The salmon and venison looked great for airline food!

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  1. I hope someone can answer this. Didn't Besh say he let the Sabayon [sp?] set in the fridge overnight? I though this was to be done in 90 minutes, then presented. Maybe I missed something. Please let me know if I heard correctly or understood the rules correctly.
    Also, hate to see Sanchez go. This is a really tough end match

    2 Replies
    1. re: bookwormchef

      maybe in the fridge on the plane...they were concerned about chilling and reheating all items so maybe there was a time cut between the 90 mins and then the service

      1. re: bookwormchef

        When Alton Brown ran through the process for the food he went from cooking station, to blast chiller to holding fridge to fridge on the plane. So I think all of the food was prepared and then chilled before being transferred to the plane.

      2. This was BY FAR the best episode yet. I was surprised that Sanchez left before Cosentino, only because he seemed much more consistent. Cosentino is pretty obnoxious. I wish we had more of the judge's critiques because sometimes the way they edit it, it just seems ridiculously snarky. I know they do this for ratings, but it would be nice if we could see something other than Ruhlman making that awful face when he eats something. I know there had to be something in there that he liked. Also, I really really like Alton Brown, but does anyone else think that he's been portrayed as kind of a smarmy jerk? I mean he told Cosentino that his food was something like "barely passable" or some other such foolishness. It just seems that in order for the drama to be there, they are showing all of his arrogance and none of his humor.

        Go Michael Symon!!!!!!!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: foodiemom

          AB has been smarmy and snarky in every show where his opinion is required. he's just plain rude. he is much better as the wise cracking host (with the really badly scripted humor) on Good Eats or even Feasting on Asphalt. one cannot help but feel that mr brown's popularity directly effects his attitude....it's a shame, when good tv hosts go bad.

          1. re: spinach

            Good Eats is his own show, which he (and associates) scripts and produces, with the primary purpose of being informative and entertaining instruction. I suspect that Asphalt is the closest we get to seeing him 'as he is', in a relatively unscripted situation (but still with a lot of editing).

            Here he is playing an entirely different role, that of a contest host who is pushing contestants, and who ultimately has to tell one of them that they flunked. When he delivers the verdict, he's conveying the judges' opinions. Quite likely his choice of words and delivery has been hashed out with the judges and producers. Who knows how many takes there have been. Plus the whole thing is heavily edited. We are not seeing anyone as they are in real life.


            1. re: paulj

              I still find this series borderline unwatchable-- was I the only one who noticed that the first appearance of actual foodstuffs came last night at the 22 minute mark? No recollection of anything they cooked except that there was venison involved somewhere along the line. And the preview/review bumpers-- same snippets repeated two or even three times. Argh! Let's see them cook, for chrissakes! This may be the worst production of any food reality show ever. If there's a real AB problem, it's that there's more of him than the contestants-- the segment from 15-20 minutes was like a Good Eats ep-- all Alton walking in and out of different kitchens and storage areas. Really needs to be more footage of people cooking.

              1. re: alias wade

                Agree on the previews. At first I thought I had missed a previous show. Let's hope it doesn't become like other shows/channels where the teases at every break almost ruin any suprise..

          2. re: foodiemom

            the little conveyor-belt scene with AB was reminscent of Good Eats, I liked that. AB is not bothering me.

            I was a bit surprised that Cosentino stayed, I guess Sanchez' fish was worse than the crunchy cauliflower. I guess he didn't get the memo about no cruciferous veggies on planes (important to maintain air quality...)

            1. re: kenito799

              I kept asking myself if I really wanted to be stuck on a transatlantic flight, 40,000 feet up with a cabin full of people that had just eaten cauliflower. Raw, parcooked or mushy, it produces the same effect. It should have come with a side of Beano.

          3. I love Symon and I think he is really emerging as the guy to beat. It is obviously hard to tell with all the editing, but he seems to have a really playful attitude. Even when things go rough, he doesn't take himself very seriously, unlike the others. It seems like Besh considered himself the front-runner early on (rightly so, I think), but he his getting more frustrated given that Symon has won the last two challenges.

            I stil think there is way to much time spent on AB and the judges

            1. I still think that everyone is taking the trash talking of Besh and Brown too seriously and it is meant to be more tongue in cheek. In any event, Symon is also growing on me, although still think Besh should step up and win. My real question last night was that no one asked about his choice of venison for an airline meal!! There were all those questions about fish to Symon and Sanchez and NO ONE mentions that game is pretty far out of the mainstream, even for a cutting edge first class meal - maybe it ended up edited out?


                I just can't take it.

                Personalities are great, chefs have been humble and fun to watch. AB is a jerk but he's still entertaining. Decent challenges, esp last night even if they ripped off Top Chef.

                BUT the editing is miserable. No continuity in terms of watching a dish get put together. The first time we have any idea of what the dish is going to look like is the medium shot of it, framed, before the judges eat. And even the eating is over edited so we get no real sense of what the judges experience.

                So much potential, and I'll continue to watch it, (sigh), but so poorly executed.

                4 Replies
                1. re: lastingly

                  I thought it was funny that they ALL raced at exactly the same time with their carts as the clock expired. That had to be staged...seemed really fake.

                  1. re: rcburli

                    Ditto to both of you. Needs to be more tape of them actually cooking. The sprint to the finish was silly.

                    1. re: famedalupo

                      Food Network has really strayed where they're trying to add "entertainment" spots to shows that just come across as pointless and silly. These are 4 of the top chefs in the country and they wasted valuable air time showing them in a footrace through an airport terminal? Who the bloody hell wants to see that?

                      1. re: Bunson

                        Yeah, I loved the slow-motion replay of Besh sliding past the door .. what great drama!

                2. What did you all think about the issue with the cameras being in the way? At first, I was like--goofy camera man, get out of that poor mans way and let him cook! But then I got to thinking about it, this is a cooking competition for a spot on a TV show, part of it should have to do with being able to cook with the cameras around. I was surprised that it wasn't mentioned at the judges table.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sunshinedrop

                    That's what I was thinking, too. The judges only judged on the dishes as presented, which is how they judge on the show, but they weren't privy to seeing the chefs react to cooking with cameras in their faces, which is indeed a big part of being on Iron Chef.

                  2. I'll have to watch it again, as I might have been distracted by Top Chef deja vu, but the food didn't really stand out for me.

                    The airline asked for "next generation" food but it didn't really seem inventive. For old school iron chef fans, remember how Morimoto and others would devise dished that seemed "never before attempted?" But I do recognize these guys only had 90 mins.

                    Some of the best liked choices seemed odd for inflight food. Raw fish? I'm dumb enough to scoff down cauliflower on a plane, but ordering swimmers would make me pause. Clear soup on a plane? That's a bit risky. Do they pass that across you boiling hot?

                    Again, I'm going from memory, but did any dish hint of German or Euro influences?
                    I know they had to work with what was given to them, but couldn't the prducers have thrown in some uniquely Euro ingredients?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: tastyjon

                      What uniquely Euro ingredients do you have in mind?

                      Would venison be more common in Europe than USA? Several contestants used the white German asparagus. One made spatzle (nothing unique about the ingredients, though). Hard to know much of the ingredient list was determined by the show's producers, and how by the stock of the airline's kitchen.


                      1. re: paulj

                        As mentioned, I was half paying attention but most of the dishes didn't seem to strike me as nodding to Europe. And that might be part of my limited experience. My parents are Brits, so when I think of their salmon, it's the thin Scot variety. And from past visits to the EU, I remember big differences in things like pork products, ranging from simple and great bacon to sausages to the specialty hams of Spain/Italy that I'm still not sure can be exported here.

                        The chefs cooked with lobster and watermelon. How about runny, unpasturized cheeses, fish we use as bait, goose liver, lingoberries, insance chocolate, etc.

                        But hey, the only just arrived. That might be the next show.

                        1. re: tastyjon

                          but it's still iron chef america! :)

                          1. re: AMFM

                            I like the show, and I think Alton plays his part perfectly. The cameraman thing with Cosentino really surprised me, glad to hear the story on here. I was thinking the whole time- "Buddy, they are going to be there all the time, you are trying out to be on a TV show! Get used to it."

                            My one gripe is the food is very classic restaruant stuff, where is the inventiveness of IC? Perhaps that will be next weeks theme! That said, I think the show gets better every week. Likely due to the fact there are less chefs to divide air time among.

                            1. re: jme1beachbum

                              I think this episode focused on the cooking and serving conditions, not the ingredients. It appears that the next episode in Paris will allow them to do their own shopping.

                              As to inventiveness, in the regular ICA format, the chefs have a lot of time to plan their ingredients and preparations. Sure there is a 'surprise ingredient', but it comes from a known set of alternatives. Note that when the 1 hr starts, there is almost no deliberation between the chef and his assistants - each one dives into preparation. Some dishes are prepared entirely by the assistants. 'Behind the scenes' shows also tell us that the unveiling of the secret ingredient occurs over a period of 15 minutes, with multiple retakes. Also, the kitchen stadium 'pantry' is stocked with ingredients that chefs have requested, based on various alternative 'secrets'. One of Alton's tasks is to go over those ingredients, and make sure that he is familiar with them, and can say something informative about them on the show.


                    2. Go Cosentino! I can't wait to see what organs he cooks up in the Paris free for all next week. That said, given the cumulative nature of the judging he's probably set to go home next week, unless either Besh or Symon seriously screw up.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Morton the Mousse

                        I'm rooting for Cosentino, too. I think his love of offal would make for really fun episodes to watch, plus I like his attitude and passion for food.

                        1. re: Ozumo

                          I thought Sanchez's food looked a lot more interesting than Cosentino's, hopefully the latter makes up for this gift and does something interesting this week.